Countdown to SA Surfing Awards Begins

Brendon Gibbens

Cape Town surfer Brendon Gibbens is one of the contenders for the new award "best use of social media" at the upcoming South African Surfing Awards presented by Zigzag surfing magazine. Gibbens was nominated for his blog http://brendongibbens.tumblr.com/ blog and his Innersection video clip. The SA Surfing Awards will take place on 9 July at Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World in Durban. Photog: Alan van Gysen

The countdown to the 1970’s themed South African Surfing Awards presented by Zigzag has begun. The event, which takes place on 9 July at Suncoast, will see the honouring of our Surfing South Africa Pro Surf Tour (PST) and ASP Africa champions and several sought after individual accolades such as SA Surfer of the Year.

One of the most anticipated aspects to the evening is the inductions of South Africa’s golden oldies to the “Legends” and “Hall of Fame” Honours boards. The legends are those who have advanced South African surfing through the contribution to the industry, administration or some other pioneering aspect of our sport, while the Hall of Fame contenders are those who earned their stripes out in the water or through competitive surfing.

The lists read like a who’s who of South African surfing. Max Wetteland, Shaun Tomson, Jonathan Paarman, Gavin Rudolph, Mike Larmont, Tony van den Heuwel, Spider Murphy, Errol Hickman, Mike Ginsberg, Peers Pittard, Graham Hynes, Baron Stander, Peter Burness, Ernie Tomson and John Whitmore are some of the names that those outside of surfing may recognise.

The “Surfer of the Year” award has been dominated by Jordy Smith (Durban) over the last few years. Smith is undoubtedly South Africa’s most successful surfer on the international stage since Wendy Botha won the women’s world title in 1987. Grant Baker has been the only surfer able to break Smith’s stranglehold on this accolade when he took the award after dominating the Red Bull Big Wave Africa and Billabong XXL in 2008.

This year the Surfer of the Year will be split into Men’s and Women’s categories. Smith will be a front runner for the Men’s award once again, having finished runner up to the world title crown last year, the highest Men’s year end ranking by a South African for almost quarter a century. The Women’s award will be a closer fought affair, with Rosy Hodge and Nikita Robb (both East London) enjoying top step international experiences, while exciting young surfers Sarah Baum (Amanzimtoti) and Bianca Buitendag (George) have dominated local contests and ISA events.

Three new exciting awards introduced this year are “best use of social media”, “team performance of the year” and “moment of the year”.

Zigzag, Paarl Media KZN and Carling Black label are once again proud supporters of the South African Surfing Awards. Only a few of the 250 tickets remain. Tickets sold out long before the ticket booth closed last year, so those wishing to attend the event are advised to log on to www.computicket.com to book.

SRC: Zigzag / Olivia Jones Communications